About this project
JOIN IN THE FIRST NATURAL HISTORY FILM ON KICKSTARTER!
It's March 24th, a familiar high pitch cuts through the harbor. A large, impressive raptor perches atop a great nest built of sticks. She stretches her wings and cries out, proclaiming to the world that she has returned and that this is her territory. Her calls do not go unanswered for long. From the distance comes the reply, echoing off the water and reverberating through the harbor. This voice belongs to the male who has been her mate for at least the last half-decade. They have each completed a journey of several thousand miles, traveling from South America separately and arriving here on the same day. It's March 24th, the exact date they arrived the year before. The nest they built together five years ago still stands after Winter's rain, wind, and snow; they re-unite here each Spring to start a family. They will continue to do so for the rest of their lives. Only death will separate them. On the Long Island Sound, the season of the osprey has begun.
Ospreys are unique in the world, alone in their taxonomic family. They inhabited their global breeding range before the first human ancestors began to walk upright. Suited for almost all global regions and climates,the osprey thrives anywhere there are fish. Millions of years of evolution created this master aerial predator.
Osprey follows the return of a life-long pair to their summer breeding site in Greenwich, Connecticut. Once a year the birds return to this quiet suburban inlet of the Long Island Sound to restore the nest they originally built years ago, each time raising a new clutch of offspring. Their return is not a gentle one, however. Threats come from all sides, as competitors emerge and other ospreys look to claim their nest and territory for themselves. The heroic couple, barely recovered from their great migration, now must engage in aerial warfare to defend their home.
They do defend their home. And with parental diligence, tireless dedication, and courage, this experienced pair once again triumphs over all obstacles. They hatch a clutch of eggs and keep their chicks safe a fed. The female guards the nest day and night through the long incubation, and the male must provide for himself, his mate, and his growing young's insatiable appetites until they are ready to take wing.
The story continues as the fledglings begin a journey of self-discovery. They learn to fly gradually, rising up from the nest, for a few seconds, treading air, but then falling back exhausted. Miraculously, these same birds are soon diving for fish on their own. Evolutionary adaptations have created one of nature’s most adept fisherman, and osprey’s have the unique ability to dive into water at high speeds and emerge with large fish. From as high as a hundred feet in the air, they peer down into the water, and then pull in their wings, diving headlong. At the last second they throw their talons forward, wings back, and crash into the water feet first, snaring unsuspecting fish with razor-sharp talons. They are a sight to behold, evolutionary marvels performing at their peak.
By Fall the birds have broken free of the nest. When the leaves begin to turn, all the parents head back to South America, leaving their young to fend for themselves. Only instinct prods them to head South, back to a land that they have never seen. One day, driven by an unidentifiable calling, they will begin the long migration to the Gulf of Mexico or beyond, where they will remain for the next two years, until they are ready to return and start the whole process over again.
"Osprey" is a long-form natural history documentary with a global target audience. Easily adapted across platforms and time-slots, the versatile cinema-quality content is as suitable for wildlife film festivals as it is for international television broadcast. The production has a strong conservation mission and impact plan, a wide grassroots participation and outreach strategy, and a tremendous value for education and non-profit environments.
The program is an exhilarating experience, engrossing viewers with breathtaking visuals, powerful close-ups, and an intimate connection with creatures of extraordinary character. Having already been filming for over two years, the creators of Osprey have developed an in-depth knowledge of the birds and their behaviors, enabling them to capture the most intimate aspects of the ospreys' lives and convey their miraculous story in its entirety. State-of-the-art video equipment and truly innovative filming techniques bring the story to screen in a way never before seen in the genre of nature documentary filmmaking. Using spectacular cinematography from land, sea, and air, blending dramatic landscapes with intimate animal behavior, this ambitious program presents the most compelling portrait ever made of these incredible creatures.
All aspects of this unique production contribute to a final piece with a significantly higher production value than those of comparable budgets. Close personal and familial ties to property owners of and around the central filming area provide for unparalleled exclusivity, as well as uninterrupted season-long coverage. Comprised of 100% original material and filmed entirely in digital 5K resolution, Osprey is visually stunning and cinema ready. It boasts original music composition, and an original script written by award-winning writers, with contributions from some of the field's top experts.
For the very first time ever, Cineflex® - cutting edge image stabilization has been combined with proprietary Cable-Cam technology to be used throughout the course of the season, capturing raptors in flight as they have never before been seen. Intimate nest-camera portraits, aerial photography, and unique Heli-Cam flights provide an entirely immersive experience into the birds' lives and perspective. Season-long HDR time-lapse photography adds visual depth to their story as a whole.
While stimulating for all ages, Osprey is most appreciated by an intelligent and reflective adult audience, one that is capable and willing to be inspired by Nature's majesty and wonder. It is factually correct and has a tremendous inherent educational value. With a strong conservation message, the ospreys' inspirational true story will touch the hearts of all birding enthusiasts, animal lovers, and environmentalists alike, as well as fascinate all those new to the subject.
Osprey is unique in that the production has a true conservation mission. Through education, outreach, and partnership, Osprey supports efforts to protect and preserve critical wildlife habitat, raises awareness about the importance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and restores a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world through inspiring visual material. A significant portion of the film's proceeds will go to wildlife conservation efforts, either through direct contributions or partnership with collaborating conservation organizations. Thus this groundbreaking motion picture production serves the natural world and its conservation efforts in every way, ensuring that while our capacity to enjoy nature's stories continues to evolve, as do our willingness and means to help sustain them.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR COLLABORATING ORGANIZATIONS
The Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. A powerful combination of science, education and policy expertise combine in efforts ranging from protection and restoration of local habitats to the implementation of policies that safeguard birds, other wildlife and the resources that sustain us all—in the U.S. and Across the Americas.
The ABA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides leadership to birders by increasing their knowledge, skills, and enjoyment of birding. It represents the North American birding community and supports birders through publications, conferences, workshops, tours, partnerships, and networks. The ABA's education programs promote birding skills, ornithological knowledge, and the development of a conservation ethic.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION!
A personal note from the Director:
Thank you for taking the time to learn about our project. Osprey has been a tremendous undertaking, one that has been entirely engrossing and taken a considerable toll. Entirely a labor of love, fueled by passion and inspiration alone, after three years of pre-production and two of filming, Osprey has finally gotten to a point of being marketable to distributers and production companies for completion. Much however remains to be done.
Up until this point the production has been on no-budget, funded entirely out of pocket. The quality of the work that has resulted is demonstrative of the caliber and ingenuity of the production team, as well as their ability to maximize every dollar.
There is a revolution under way in the field of nature documentary filmmaking. Moving away from the traditional subject-driven educational model, a new breed of narrative storytelling combined with exceptional cinematography is emerging as evident in Disneynature's recent productions of "Oceans," "African Cats," and the "The Crimson Wing," as well as National Geographic's "The Last Lions," and "March of the Penguins," all of which having achieved wide acclaim and box office success.
Osprey will continue this tradition. New and innovative filming techniques and state-of-the-art technology provide for an audo-visual experience like no other. Strong characters guide a compelling story. The narrative script co-written by renowned nature writer David Gessner provides for the highest degree of quality as well as extraordinary depth and profundity.
An enormous amount of work and expenses go into creating a project that is marketable to production companies and potential investors. Osprey is looking to Kickstarter for DEVELOPMENT FUNDS. Any funding acquired at this stage would be critical to covering such expenses as marketing and advertising, writing costs, legal and contractual expenses, acquiring sponsors and partnerships, as well as those for business plan evaluations and financing.
I invite all backers to be a part of something truly special; a film production is an incredible journey, and your support is critical to see this one through to completion. I am offering great rewards and credits in the film, and the opportunity for each one of you to become actively involved and informed throughout the whole process. I hope you all can come aboard and join in this monumental undertaking, one that has entirely inspired and transformed my life. I cannot do it without you.
Please take the time to review the project, check out the rewards, and pledge what you can. Visit the production's official website to learn more. Spread this Kickstarter page along to all your friends and family, if not to acquire their financial support, at least to spread awareness about the importance of conservation efforts and projects like this one. And of course, feel free to contact me anytime.
Thank you so much again for your time.
Writer I Producer I Director
HOW TO PLEDGE AND BECOME A BACKER
You can become a backer in just three easy steps:
Step 1: Read through the pledge levels and rewards offered in the right sidebar of this page.
Step 2: Click the large, green "BACK THIS PROJECT" button to the right of the trailer video at the top of this page.
Step 3: Enter your pledge amount, select your Reward, and complete the steps for filling in your information. This process takes just a few minutes.
And you´re done! THANK YOU!
Osprey is offering some truly incredible Rewards in exchange for pledged support of this campaign. We have taken a lot of time to come up with the most creative, exciting, and engaging Rewards for our backers of all pledge amounts.
The full list of Rewards and their corresponding pledge amounts can be found to the right. Please review them carefully as each Reward level changes slightly as pledge amounts increase.
The following section elaborates on some of the Reward options:
Osprey is proud to introduce David Gessner as the film´s co-writer. David Gessner is the author of eight books and countless essays about the wild world, including Soaring with Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond, and Return of the Osprey, which was hailed as a "Classic of American Nature Writing" by the Boston Globe and was selected as one of their top ten nonfiction books of the year. Gessner is the recent winner of a Pushcart Prize and the John Burroughs Award for Best Natural History Essay. His work has also appeared in many magazines and journals including New York Times Magazine, Outside, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, and Orion. Founder of the journal Ecotone, he teaches at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Film Festival VIP Package:
Upon completion, Osprey intends to submit to several of the most renowned and prestigious international wildlife and environmental film festivals for consideration. Some of the festivals to which Osprey will submit are the Wildscreen Festival, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, International Ornithological Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, International Wildlife Media Center & Film Festival, and Planet in Focus: Environmental Film Festival. The Film Festival VIP Package includes two all-access passes to any of the fore-mentioned festivals in which Osprey is accepted. Neither accommodations during, nor travel to and from festivals are included in the Reward package.
Several of the Reward levels include film credits. If your Reward level includes a film credit your name (or whomever´s name you choose) will appear in the credits for all domestic and international festivals, television broadcast, theatrical release, DVD and Blu-Ray distribution, and IMDb of course! Your information will be taken upon successful completion of the Kickstarter campaign and you will be awarded the appropriate title and screen exposure. All such credits are honorary titles and do not imply creative or financial ownership of the film.
INTERESTED IN PLAYING AN EVEN LARGER ROLE IN THE FILM?
Osprey is looking for serious investors and contributors for financing of the complete production budget. Honorary titles of Co-Executive Producer and Executive Producer are available in exchange for significant donations, and as well are available opportunities for investment. Significant donations are tax deductible through our 501(c)(3) partner.
We are open to partnership with conservation groups, birding associations, and environmental publications for outreach and other marketing collaboration. In-kind donations of goods and services of all kinds in the greater NYC and CT area are welcome and appreciated.
Film professionals, aspiring professionals, and students are welcome to contact us if Osprey is something they would be interested in taking part in. Several positions in production/post are available as well as opportunities for interns and PA´s to gain valuable experience and be part of a unique and amazing project.
Please feel free to contact us for all inquiries:
A person who supports a project is called a "backer." The process of giving money to the documentary is called a "pledge." In return for your pledge, we (the creators of the campaign) are able to offer "rewards," depending on the amount you pledge. Pledge levels vary from just $1 to several thousand dollars. Each different level opens up a new, creative reward. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing campaign, which means that pledges aren't actually processed unless the campaign is 100% successful. To repeat: no one gets charged anything, and the project receives nothing unless the funding goal is reached. If the funding goal is achieved, the credit card you provided when you made your pledge will be charged after the campaign ends.
Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. It is a truly amazing and revolutionary concept that is not only helping creatives to find new ways to finance their projects, but also helping people interested in getting involved with creative projects to become actively engaged and directly participate, receiving awesome rewards in return. It is an extraordinary community-building tool, it fosters collaboration, and allows for active participation of a community of fans like none other. And lastly, it keeps projects independent, keeping creative control with their original creators.
Yes! Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country. But you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. If you have any problems just contact us.
YES! Once you donate to the campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, come back to this page and sign in. The green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
Each Reward has an “Estimated Delivery Date” of October, 2012 which has some significance but is not entirely relevant. For instance, some Rewards will clearly not be ready until the film is complete (such as a “DVD copy of the finished film,” for instance). The date of October, 2012 was placed because that is when the earliest of the Rewards (for example, personalized notes from the director, osprey prints, membership brochures, memberships to organizations) will be available. It is around October, 2012 when you can expect to have such Rewards fulfilled. Rewards that fall within production months (on-set package, wildlife filmmaker package) will have their Reward packages fulfilled during Production in the Spring/Summer of 2013. Rewards whose dates rely on the film’s completion (DVD’s, Blu-rays, Festival passes, film credits) will be fulfilled after the film’s completion. Travel Rewards are to be coordinated at any time within their appropriate restrictions (listed in the Rewards section). However, all Reward levels can expect to have their personal note of thanks from the Director, and any other corresponding Rewards that are immediately available by the estimated date of October, 2012. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
SHIPPING IS INCLUDED FOR ALL BACKERS! That’s right - every reward, (that requires shipping) for every pledge amount, no matter where in the world, will be shipped to you at no additional cost.
Absolutely. Whether it be a film credit, membership to one of our collaborating organizations, or a personalized note from the director, Kickstarter Rewards make excellent gifts and can be given to anyone you choose. Once the funding goal is achieved, all backers will receive a message from us requesting the appropriate information corresponding to their pledge amount. At that time you will be able to specify to whom and under what name the Rewards will be issued.
I am interested in the travel option rewards but live outside of the Americas and Canada, can I still qualify for travel Rewards?
Yes, but please contact me first before pledging. I may ask you to add a little extra to your pledge depending on where you will be travelling from to make up for elevated costs. Once you get a confirmation from me, pledge away and enjoy your travels!
Excellent question. Osprey is in what is called its Development Phase. “Development” is a term used to describe the phase of production before Pre-Production. A production “in development” can be anywhere from a concept on paper, to very highly-developed and ready for financing. Osprey is at the very highly-developed end. Two years of preliminary filming have been shot, theatrical trailer cut, thorough production schedules for the final season drawn, full production budgets detailed, proposals drafted, official website designed and launched, etc. etc. etc. The 45K funding goal is meant to cover the rest of the development costs necessary to finance Production of the film. The number is a bare minimum, and is small compared to that already invested considering cash out of pocket, and time and effort over the last several years. Some of the remaining expenses we are hoping to have covered by this campaign are legal/contractual expenses, writing costs, travel expenses for broadcaster, distributor, film market meetings, press kit materials, writing costs, business plan/PPM drafts, and keeping the lights on (among many, many others). We are so close, but your support is so critical as we simply cannot afford to finance the production out of pocket any longer. Kickstarter takes 5% of the money raised, Amazon payments takes an additional 3-5%, and the rest goes directly into the budget. Please, pledge what you can. We really appreciate your help.
YES! The truth is we must in order to actually finish the film. As explained before, this campaign’s goal is for Development funds. We are hoping to finance the Production budget through broadcast commissions, TV pre-sales, private investments, and contributions, but there is nothing from stopping us from financing the entire production on Kickstarter! This would be extraordinary for many reasons. One: it would keep creative control entirely in the hands of the production’s creators, thus allowing the full, uninhibited development of the project’s true vision. Two: it would maximize participation and involvement of the film’s audience and following throughout the entire process from the very onset. If we should be so blessed!
Thank you for asking. We welcome you to become an Outreach Partner. We’d love to discuss partnering with you, your organization, your community, to help get the word out about the film and its funding campaign. Please contact us and we’ll brainstorm together some of the infinite opportunities for collaboration. Help spread the word about the film and its Kickstarter campaign in your community and receive a special Outreach Partner credit on our website. In the meantime broadcast the Kickstarter campaign any way you can. Send the link to friends and family. Like us on facebook. Spread the word. Your help goes a long way.
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